In what could be the most dramatic comeback of the year, world number 100 Sachia Vickery came from a set and double-break down to stun world number three Garbine Muguruza under the lights of Stadium 1 at the BNP Paribas Open, with the late-night thriller lasting for more than two hours.
It seemed like Muguruza was on course to complete yet another routine victory when she went up 6-2, 3-0 40-0, but yet Vickery’s never-say-die attitude saw her producing the best tennis of her life, coming up with down-the-line shots which were out of the world. Eventually, towards the closing stages, Muguruza got extremely passive and crumbled in terms of confidence, falling 6-2, 5-7, 1-6.
Muguruza strolls through the opening set
The world number 100 was certainly feeling the nerves about playing one of the biggest matches of her career inside one of the biggest tennis stadiums in the world. Errors started to overwhelm Vickery and it was unsurprisingly Muguruza who made the first breakthrough, coming up with powerful backhand returns to grab the early lead. Consecutive backhand errors saw Vickery fail to convert two break points, allowing the Spaniard to consolidate the break.
That game ultimately proved crucial in deciding the outcome of the match as Vickery failed to earn more opportunities on return throughout the set, with Muguruza stepping up her play and staying solid. Becoming consistent at the baseline, the world number three prevailed in long rallies on multiple occasions and eventually took the first set 6-2 after 36 minutes.
Vickery does the impossible — comes from a double-break down to take the second set
Tight games were the highlight of the match but in the first half of the encounter, Muguruza was clinical on the important points and edged through on all occasions. The start of the second set wasn’t an exception, as the Spaniard charged towards a commanding 3-0 lead within a blink of an eye.
Owning a 40-0 lead in the fourth game and having six different chances to consolidate her advantage, Muguruza’s mentality totally crumbled as Vickery continued to give it her all, breaking straight back on her first chance.
Conceding another two break points in the upcoming game, Vickery was simply getting the crowd all involved by remaining composed and Muguruza was sending every important shot spraying wide, allowing the American to have a path back into the match. From 2-4 down, the inspired world number 100 rattled off 12 of the next 15 points to completely turn the tides.
Serving to stay in the set at 5-6, a series of errors were flowing in from Muguruza, and Vickery was on fire as she came up with several impressive down-the-line winners which caught her opponent off-guard. On her fourth set point, yet another forehand winner finally sealed the deal for the American, sending the match to the distance having come from 2-6, 0-3 0-40 down to prevail.
Vickery strolls through deciding set and grabs the upset
Muguruza did well to claim a spirited service hold, halting Vickery’s momentum as the Spaniard finally seemed to have regained her confidence. Things looked like they were going in Muguruza’s way after Vickery was called for a foot fault at 1-1 30-30, and frustration surfaced on her face. However, the American’s tough mentality, which was what pushed her through the finishing line today, saw her follow it up with yet another unbelievable backhand down-the-line winner.
From there, it was one-way traffic as Vickery was unstoppable. She claimed 12 of the last 14 points in the match, and Muguruza was spraying errors and gifting free points as the American ultimately claimed the biggest win of her career after two-hours and 11-minutes of play.